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"The Search for Atlantis" is a celebration of curiosity and courage, a testament to the idea that every legend holds a grain of truth waiting to be uncovered. It is a thrilling adventure that will captivate anyone fascinated by history, mystery, and the unyielding human spirit.
Chapter 8 – Atlantis.

Julie gasped as the panoramic view of Atlantis unfolded before her, the sheer scale of the city taking her breath away. Thousands of Atlanteans moved through the streets and marketplaces below, their activities as fluid and vibrant as the waters surrounding them. The city, bathed in a gentle glow from bioluminescent light sources and shimmering structures, seemed both ancient and impossibly advanced.

"Holy hell," Julie murmured, her eyes wide with wonder. She turned to Talise, a mix of awe and incredulity in her voice. "How has this not been discovered?"

Talise smiled, her eyes twinkling with the knowledge of secrets long kept. "The crystal," she said simply, pointing upwards.

Nick and Julie followed her gesture and looked up, their gazes fixing on an enormous crystal suspended in the center of the cavern. It hovered without any visible means of support, no chains or ropes, just floating in mid-air like a silent guardian. The crystal emitted a soft, pulsating light that seemed to touch every corner of the city, casting an ethereal glow over the entire cavern.

Julie chuckled lightly, a sense of surreal realization dawning on her. "Show this to Lindsey and tell her magic isn’t real," she joked, imagining their friend's reaction to the undeniable marvels of Atlantean technology—or magic, as one might call it.

Nick smirked, his usual skepticism challenged by the sights before him. "This one I can’t explain," he admitted, his voice a mix of defeat and fascination.

"Me neither," Julie agreed, her scientific mind struggling to make sense of the advanced technology or enchantment that allowed such a phenomenon.

They continued to observe the floating crystal, noting how its light seemed to ripple through the cavern, touching the waters and the city itself with a gentle luminescence. Talise noticed their fixation and elaborated further, "This crystal isn't just a source of light. It's the heart of Atlantis, a powerful artifact that cloaks our presence, making the city invisible to the outside world. It bends light and perception, creating barriers not just physically but also at the mystical level."

"As long as the crystal hangs there, Atlantis remains hidden from surface dwellers," Talise continued. "It's part of an ancient technology handed down through generations, combined with protective enchantments cast by our most skilled magicians."

Nick and Julie listened intently, the concept of a civilization that blended technology with what could only be described as magic was beyond anything they had encountered. The revelation that such wonders were not only possible but existed in the depths of the ocean cave changed their understanding of what was possible in the world.

"Beyond its protective capabilities, the crystal also powers the city," Talise added, gesturing to the vibrant streets below where Atlanteans lived in harmony with their environment, their lives enriched by the crystal’s energy. "It sustains our buildings, our machines, and even nourishes our crops. It's the source of our prosperity and the guardian of our secrets."

As they absorbed Talise's explanations, Nick and Julie felt a profound sense of wonder and privilege. Here, in the lost city of Atlantis, they were witnesses to the legacy of a civilization that had mastered the balance between nature and technology, a society that thrived in isolation yet was vibrant and alive beneath the surface of the sea.

Nick's eyebrows arched in surprise as he witnessed the display of what seemed undeniably like magic. “Wait, so magic is real?” he asked, his voice tinged with a mixture of skepticism and awe.

Talise, with a serene smile, nodded gently. She lifted her hand, and above her palm, a glowing orb of light materialized, casting soft luminance around them. “Once you accept it, it will come naturally to you,” she explained, her voice smooth and reassuring.

Eager yet doubtful, Nick extended his hand, attempting to replicate the gesture, but nothing appeared. Talise observed him with a patient smile. “You still do not believe,” she remarked calmly. “Once you learn more, you will understand,” she continued, her tone nurturing yet matter-of-fact.

Julie, standing beside them, grinned and gave Nick a playful nudge. “Not for lack of trying,” she said, her smirk teasing.

Nick chuckled, appreciating Julie's light-hearted jab. The conversation then shifted unexpectedly when Talise inquired about another matter. “So, this other girl,” she began, her curiosity piqued, “she is a friend of yours, Julie?”

Julie nodded, her expression turning slightly solemn. “I’ve known her all my life,” she replied. Sensing where Talise's questions were leading, she added, “But she likes Nick?”

Again, Julie nodded. “She wouldn’t mind if he liked her back,” she said, gently pushing Nick with her shoulder to gauge his reaction.

Nick shook his head, his response firm yet gentle. “I said I would be yours, and I would be faithful,” he declared, his gaze meeting Julie's, filled with sincerity.

Julie smiled warmly at him, appreciating his commitment, but then playfully stirred the pot. “And if I want to let you fuck her, then you are not unfaithful,” she quipped, her tone light but provocative.

Talise, unfamiliar with the casual use of certain terms, repeated with a hint of confusion, “Fuck?”

Nick took a moment to explain, aware of the cultural gap. “It’s a surface word, used in many contexts. It can be an expletive when something goes wrong, or it can describe having intercourse, as Julie used it here. Fucking, Unlike making love, it's more casual, just fooling around or passionate, even rough,” he elaborated, trying to offer a nuanced explanation.

Julie nodded in agreement, her tone turning a bit more serious. “But it’s also okay to fuck the one you love in that way. Like I was with Nick a few days ago, when we became a couple, we, well, we were together passionately,” she confessed, her words blunt and unfiltered.

Talise smiled, her expression indicating that she was beginning to understand the complexities of human relationships and language. She then looked at Nick with a playful glint in her eye. “And you would not want to fuck me?” she asked teasingly.

Julie burst out laughing, her amusement clear. “Oh, I’m sure he would, you’re super-hot,” she joked, making light of the situation.

Nick rolled his eyes at Julie's comment, his response thoughtful. “It’s not about whether I want to or not; it's about loyalty. I love Julie, and being with someone else in that way would be disrespectful. What you think about doing and what you actually do, those are two very different things,” he said, emphasizing the distinction between thought and action.

Talise nodded, understanding dawning on her. “So, you’ve thought about it,” she observed, a hint of teasing in her tone.

Nick smirked, acknowledging the playful accusation, and Julie laughed again, their lighthearted banter resuming as they navigated the complexities of their interpersonal dynamics in this newfound and magical environment.

Talise led them gracefully down from the balcony, weaving through the vibrant streets towards the bustling market place. “Here you can find everything Atlantis has to offer,” she explained with a sweep of her arm, gesturing broadly at the colorful stalls and busy Atlanteans milling about.

Nick, intrigued by the variety and abundance of goods, asked about the practicalities of trade in such a place. “And the currency?” he inquired, looking around at the exchanges happening without any visible exchange of money.

Talise’s smile broadened at the question. “Everything in Atlantis is free. We help each other out and all pitch in,” she replied. Her answer reflected a communal spirit that Nick found both admirable and wistfully enviable. “I wish sometimes the surface world would work like that,” he mused aloud.

As they walked, a group of children were playing nearby with a brightly colored ball, which inadvertently rolled away from them towards Nick. He bent down, picked it up, and just as he stood up, a small girl approached him. He smiled warmly at her and handed her the ball. “What is your name?” Julie asked the girl, curiosity lighting her face.

The girl returned her smile, her eyes twinkling with youthful exuberance. “I am Lysara, daughter of Thalienne and Orinon,” she proudly declared.

Nick chuckled softly, amused and charmed by her formal introduction. “Nice to meet you, Lysara. I am Nick, son of Lyla and Dylan,” he responded with equal formality.

Julie grinned and added her own introduction. “I am Julie, daughter of Eleanor and Gill.”

Lysara's grin widened. “Thank you for my ball,” she said politely, her voice melodious and sweet. Nick nodded, watching as she scampered off to rejoin her friends in their game.

“Lysara is the daughter of my guard you met earlier. He is the one who provided you with the translators,” Talise explained, her smile fond as she watched the children play.

Nick’s expression softened. “She is sweet,” he remarked, his eyes following Lysara’s lively movements.

“She is, and in two of your surface days, she will have a names day, it will be her twenty-seventh,” Talise continued, a note of pride in her voice.

Nick turned to Talise, puzzled. “Names day?” he asked, unfamiliar with the term.

Talise’s smile was gentle, enlightening. “You call them birthdays,” she clarified.

Nick glanced back at Lysara, his surprise evident. “Fuck,” he muttered under his breath, a reflex expression of his astonishment.

Talise looked at him, a slight frown creasing her brow. “You are mad?” she inquired, misunderstanding his expletive.

Nick shook his head quickly, realizing his slip. “Sorry, sometimes when we are surprised, we also use that word,” he explained, trying to smooth over the cultural misunderstanding.

Talise shook her head, amused yet still slightly perplexed. “Confusing,” she remarked. “But why are you surprised?” she pressed, genuinely curious.

Nick gestured towards Lysara, then back at himself. “Look at her,” he said, then added, “Look at me. Do we look the same age?”

Talise observed, then shook her head. “No, you do not,” she acknowledged.

“I turned twenty-seven about forty-five days ago,” Nick revealed, his voice tinged with a hint of incredulity.

Talise’s eyes widened slightly. “Surface people age so rapidly?” she asked, her tone mixed with surprise and a dash of sympathy.

Nick nodded, a rueful smile crossing his face. “The average life expectancy is about seventy-six years,” he explained.

Talise turned to Julie, who nodded in confirmation. “How do you accomplish anything in such a short time?” Talise asked, her question loaded with genuine puzzlement.

Nick shrugged lightly, his response thoughtful. “Most people don’t really, most just work and spend time with their families,” he said, his words highlighting the stark contrasts between their worlds—an Atlantis marked by longevity and communal living, and a surface world constrained by time and individual pursuits.

Julie hesitated for a moment, her curiosity piqued by the mysterious aura surrounding their Atlantean host. She glanced at Talise with a respectful yet inquisitive look. “If I may ask,” she began tentatively, her voice echoing slightly in the bustling market space.

Talise, sensing Julie's curiosity, smiled warmly and nodded in encouragement. “You wish to know how many Names days I have had,” she surmised correctly, her insightfulness not missing Julie's intent.

Julie nodded, eagerly awaiting the revelation. “I had my five hundred forty-fourth Names day only five of your days ago,” Talise revealed with a serene smile that hinted at centuries of wisdom.

Nick, who had been quietly absorbing the cultural marvels around him, couldn’t help but utter a stunned, “Fuck,” under his breath.

Talise’s eyebrows rose slightly, her head tilting in a gesture of concern. “It displeases you?” she asked, her voice laced with a touch of amusement at his reaction.

Nick quickly shook his head, his expression one of fascination rather than displeasure. “No, not at all,” he assured her, his mind reeling from the implications of such longevity.

“Does it bother you?” Talise probed further, genuinely curious about his reaction to the stark differences between their lifespans.

Again, Nick shook his head. “No, but I do wonder, what is the life expectancy of the people of Atlantis?” he inquired, his tone filled with genuine curiosity.

Talise’s smile broadened, reflecting pride in her heritage. “My mother lived to celebrate her twelve-hundred-thirty-first Names day,” she shared, her eyes twinkling with the memories of her mother.

Nick chuckled, the idea almost unfathomable to him. “When I am dead and gone, my great, great grandkids can come visit you,” he joked, trying to wrap his mind around the concept of such extended lifetimes.

Talise’s laughter mingled with his, light and melodic. “What if we offered you and Julie to stay?” she then proposed, her question hanging in the air like a delicate mist.

Julie turned to look at her, surprise etched across her face. “Why would you do that?” she asked, her voice tinged with a mix of honor and uncertainty.

“Because it is what you can offer that intrigues me,” Talise explained, her gaze thoughtful as she considered the potential contributions of these surface dwellers.

Julie shook her head, her modesty front and center. “We can't offer much, we do not know the way you do things here,” she admitted, feeling somewhat out of her depth in this advanced, ancient society.

Nick nodded in agreement, understanding Julie’s reservations. “You can offer new blood, you can offer knowledge of the surface world,” Talise countered, seeing value in their different perspectives.

Nick sighed, the weight of such a decision pressing upon him. “It is not something I can accept right now,” he stated, his voice firm yet respectful.

Talise nodded gracefully, acknowledging his sentiment. “You wish to return to your friend,” she said, her intuition once again proving accurate.

Julie nodded, her thoughts drifting to their friend back on the surface. “Will you return?” she asked Nick, hopeful yet uncertain.

Nick looked at Julie, her smile encouraging him. After a moment of contemplation, he nodded. “I think we will,” he said decisively, a new sense of adventure kindling within him.

Talise’s smile returned, brighter than before. She then guided them towards the lake where the submarine awaited their return journey. As they walked, she handed Julie another bracelet, delicate and shimmering. “This is for your friend. If you choose to return, bring her,” she said, her voice soft yet earnest. “I would very much like to meet the girl that wants to fuck Nick,” she added with a playful twinkle in her eye.

Julie laughed heartily at the comment, while Nick blushed, caught off-guard by Talise’s forwardness. Their walk back to the submarine was filled with light-hearted banter and reflective silence, each lost in thoughts about the future and the incredible possibilities that lay in the mysterious depths of Atlantis.

As they approached the sleek, waiting submarine, Talise paused, signaling to her guards who approached with a heavy, ornately carved chest. The guards gently set it down at their feet, the sound of the chest thudding softly against the ground. “before you go, I wish to gift you this,” Talise said, Nick's eyes widened in surprise as the lid was opened to reveal a treasure trove of Mayan gold coins, glinting under the Atlantean crystal.

"I told you, we do not wish to take the riches of Atlantis," Nick protested, his voice firm yet respectful, reflecting his commitment to preserving the sanctity of their discoveries.

Talise gave a gentle, understanding smile. "I know," she acknowledged, "but your honesty and your friendship are deeply appreciated. And I know I can trust you to keep Atlantis a secret. So, if you return with a chest filled with Mayan gold, you will have something tangible to show for your journey," she explained, her eyes gleaming with a mix of mischief and sincerity.

She continued, her tone inviting, "And we invite you to come back when you are ready, and also bring this friend of yours," she added, nodding warmly towards Julie.

Nick, touched by the gesture yet still feeling the weight of responsibility, asked, "How can we repay you for this generosity?"

Talise's smile widened. "Bring history of the surface world next time you come, and something we do not have here," she proposed.

Julie, thinking quickly, leaned closer to Nick and whispered, "Candy."

Nick chuckled softly, "We can do that," he assured Talise, amused by Julie’s suggestion.

As their parting moment approached, Talise stepped forward, embracing Julie warmly. She kissed her cheeks gently, whispering, "Until next time." Her embrace with Nick was equally warm, but as she pulled away, she surprised him with a kiss on his lips, her voice carrying a hint of emotion as she repeated, "Until next time."

Julie, watching the exchange with a mix of amusement and admiration, couldn’t help but comment, "Kissed by a queen, wow," her voice laced with laughter.

Nick, slightly flustered but grateful, whispered back to Talise, "Thank you." Her smile in response was both mysterious and warm.

With the help of the guards, Nick then lifted the heavy chest of gold into the submarine, securing it carefully. After ensuring the treasure was safely stowed, he closed the hatch with a definitive clang and maneuvered the sub away from the dock. As they submerged into the cool, dark waters, the currents once again took hold, guiding the sub effortlessly back towards the gate. The journey back was quiet, the hum of the sub's engine a soft background to their reflective thoughts on the incredible adventure and the promise of returning to this hidden world beneath the waves.

As they neared the ancient gate, the submarine gliding through the otherworldly underwater landscape, Julie glanced over at Nick with a knowing smile. “She likes you,” she said, a teasing lilt in her voice.

Nick chuckled, his face alight with both amusement and skepticism. “How do you know? It could just be a traditional way of saying goodbye in Atlantis,” he replied, trying to brush off the implication.

Julie laughed heartily, shaking her head. “Nick, she had love in her eyes. She wants you to come back. That queen wants you to be her king,” she said emphatically, watching his reaction closely.

Nick turned to her, his expression serious. “And I told you, I will not be with others. I am faithful to you, Julie. I love you. I’ve never had a girl like you, and I never will again,” he affirmed, his voice earnest.

Julie’s smile softened, and she leaned in to kiss him deeply, her actions speaking volumes of her feelings for him. “Nick, did you not see the dynamics in Atlantis?” she asked as they parted, her gaze inquisitive.

He shook his head, his mind still caught up in the technological marvels of the lost city. “No, I paid attention to the layout, the glowing orbs, and the mechanics of the streets. Did you see they have a wagon that drove itself, no horses or engine smoke? It just drove,” he said, still fascinated by the advanced Atlantean technology.

Julie nodded, acknowledging his observations but steering the conversation back to her point. “I saw that, but did you notice that every man had three to four women around him? There are a lot more women than men in Atlantis,” she pointed out.

Nick shook his head, considering an alternative explanation. “Maybe the men are working,” he suggested, trying to rationalize the skewed gender ratio.

Julie rolled her eyes playfully. “It doesn’t matter. What matters is, you like her. Hell, you want her. And I’m not saying to be unfaithful to me. I’m saying I approve, as long as you don’t shut me out,” she stated, her words candid and open.

Nick looked at her, bewildered. “Why?” he asked, genuinely puzzled by her encouragement.

Julie smiled, her love for him evident in her eyes. “Because I love you, and I know she loved you too, as impossible as it seems after spending less than two hours with her here in Atlantis. I could see it in her eyes; she sees a future, and you are in it,” she explained.

“How can you possibly know that?” he asked, his voice filled with wonder and a hint of incredulity.

Julie shrugged lightly. “I don’t know, but if I’m right, then will you do it?” she queried, her tone gentle yet challenging.

Nick looked at her, his heart torn between the familiarity of his love for Julie and the allure of the unknown. “I have no fucking idea. This is all so new to me. You know my last relationship was over three years ago,” he confessed, the weight of the decision heavy on his mind.

She laughed, lightening the mood. “And now you might have three relationships at once,” she joked, her laughter echoing in the confined space of the submarine.

Nick sighed and turned his attention back to navigating the sub. As the gate opened automatically, allowing them passage, he steered the sub out of the cave and began their ascent.

“Duchess, we are coming up,” Julie announced into the radio, reconnecting with Lindsey.

“Where the hell have you been? There has been radio silence from you for the last two hours,” Lindsey’s voice crackled over the radio, a mix of irritation and relief palpable in her tone.

Julie quickly concocted a plausible explanation. “We found some debris and were surprised by the marine life there, got a little carried away,” she explained, hoping to smooth over any concerns.

As the conversation about their recent encounter echoed in the confined space of the submarine, Julie reassured their concerned team member over the radio. “No, I'm serious, Lindsey. The marine life down here is incredible,” she replied with a tone of sincerity, painting a picture of their undersea adventures to ease Lindsey’s worries.

“Duchess is on the way, ETA eight minutes,” Lindsey responded, her voice still tinged with skepticism but conceding to Julie's explanation.

Nick maneuvered the sub gently onto the sandy seabed beside the enigmatic ruins of what was once an ancient Atlantean outpost. The quiet thud of the submarine settling onto the ocean floor marked a brief pause in their journey. It was then that Julie turned the conversation toward a more personal topic.

“So what about Lindsey?” she asked, her expression playful yet carrying a hint of seriousness.

“About Lindsey?” Nick echoed, his brows furrowing slightly as he sensed where the conversation might be heading.

Julie’s smile didn't waver as she leaned closer. “Will you... fuck her?” she asked, her voice a mix of amusement and earnest curiosity.

Nick sighed, a mixture of exasperation and confusion evident in his tone. “Why are you pushing for this?” he questioned, genuinely puzzled by her insinuations.

Julie's smile turned mischievous as she divulged a little-known pact. “Lindsey and I made a pact when we were younger,” she began, her eyes twinkling with the secrets of the past.

“A pact?” Nick asked, his curiosity piqued despite his reservations.

She nodded, her smile broadening. “We promised to share any guy we found interesting, and if one of us fell in love, the other would have a chance too,” she explained, her voice light.

Nick rolled his eyes, half in jest. “I'm guessing this was agreed upon over a bottle of something strong?”

Julie laughed, affirming his guess. “Margarita night at the local bar, back in college,” she confirmed, then continued, “But seriously, after all our talks about it...we still agreed to it when we were sober.”

Nick looked at her, trying to gauge her sincerity. “So you want to share me with Lindsey, and you’re also hinting that I should fuck Queen Talise?” he summarized, his tone a blend of incredulity and amusement.

Julie’s smile was undeniably cheeky as she nodded. “Think about it, how many guys get to say they have three incredible women interested in them? And one of them a queen,” she added, her voice filled with amusement.

Nick chuckled, shaking his head in disbelief. “I still think you’re wrong about Talise,” he countered, not entirely convinced by Julie's observations.

Julie giggled, her laughter echoing softly in the submarine. “You have much to learn about women,” she teased, her gaze affectionate yet challenging.

Just then, the radio crackled to life again, snapping them back to the present. “Duchess has arrived,” Lindsey’s voice announced, signaling their pickup was ready.

Nick quickly set about preparing for their ascent. He handed the controls over to Julie and opened the hatch, the warm sea air of the Florida coast greeting them. He then efficiently hooked up the crane to the submarine. Up above, Lindsey operated the crane with practiced ease, beginning to lift the sub from the chilling embrace of the ocean waters.

As the submarine emerged from the depths, dripping with seawater, the reality of their surface lives awaited them, yet the conversations and decisions beneath the waves lingered in their minds, hinting at the complexities of relationships and adventures yet to come.

As the submarine was secured back on its platform atop the Duchess’s deck, Nick began the careful task of maneuvering the chest of gold that Talise, the Queen of Atlantis, had bestowed upon them. Lindsey and Julie helped lift it onto the deck, their muscles straining under its weight, allowing Nick to clamber down from the hatch.

Once on deck, Nick took the heavy chest from them and carried it into the wheelhouse, the gold clinking softly with each step. Lindsey, who had followed them in, stared at the chest with wide eyes. “Where the hell did you get that?” she asked, her tone a mix of astonishment and curiosity.

Julie, unable to suppress a proud smile, responded, “It was a gift.” She then flipped open the lid, revealing the shimmering contents.

Lindsey gasped, taken aback by the sight. “Fuck, that is a lot of gold,” she exclaimed, her eyes reflecting the golden gleam.

Nick nodded, a serious look on his face. “A gift from the Queen of Atlantis,” he declared solemnly.

“What?” Lindsey’s voice was a mix of disbelief and excitement.

Nick affirmed, “There is life in Atlantis, and there are thousands of people there.”

Lindsey sank into a nearby chair, overwhelmed. “Fuck,” she murmured, trying to comprehend the magnitude of their discovery. “And you met the Queen of Atlantis?” she asked, looking from Nick to Julie.

Julie nodded, and Nick added, “Not only that.” He glanced at Julie, a playful smirk on his lips. “It turns out, Julie is a princess.”

Julie shot Nick a glare, her expression one of annoyance mixed with embarrassment. “I am no fucking princess,” she growled.

“Your family is connected to them. The queen is in truth your great, great, great aunt,” Nick explained, trying to lighten the mood with his tone.

Julie frowned, her arms crossed defiantly. “Just because my great, great, however many great-grandmother was from there, does not make me a princess,” she insisted.

Nick chuckled. “Apparently, it does, and the Queen sees you as her lost sister’s family,” he said, enjoying the unfolding drama.

Lindsey shook her head, still trying to wrap her mind around the surreal story. “What the fuck did you get into down there?” she asked, half in jest, half in genuine wonder.

Julie, seeking to shift the focus, pulled out the bracelet given to them by the queen and handed it to Lindsey. “This is a special bracelet. It helps you understand their language,” she explained.

Lindsey looked at Nick and Julie’s wrists, noting they wore similar bracelets. “How?” she asked, her curiosity piqued.

Nick explained, “It works kind of like a translator, for both written words and spoken words.”

Curious, Lindsey slipped the bracelet onto her wrist. She shivered as the mysterious power of the bracelet coursed through her. “Fuck,” she exclaimed, her eyes wide with astonishment.

Nick handed her an Atlantean coin. “Read this,” he prompted.

Lindsey examined the coin. “Queen Amarantha of Atlantis,” she read aloud, her voice tinged with awe.

“And this,” Nick said, handing her a Mayan coin.

“Awilix, Goddess of the Moon and night,” she read, her astonishment growing. “Holy hell, does it translate any language?”

Nick shook his head. “I do not know, but it works for Mayan, Aztec, and Atlantean,” he said.

Lindsey smiled, clearly impressed. “This is awesome,” she said. Julie added, “We were invited to return. They want us to live there.”

Lindsey looked between them. “For real?” she asked, still struggling to believe.

Nick and Julie nodded. “I told them I needed time to think about it,” Nick said.

Julie chimed in, “Plus, we need to publish that this adventure was a bust, and all we found was this Mayan treasure.”

“What about the Atlantean gold?” Lindsey asked, her gaze shifting from the chest to the coins on the table.

Nick looked at the gold, then he picked it up and walked to the railing. “Are we still over the ruin?” he asked.

Lindsey nodded, and without another word, Nick tossed the Atlantean gold coins back into the sea, returning them to their mysterious origins below the waves, as if acknowledging that some secrets were better left hidden, at least for now.
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